Before he was well fed, getting a street named after him, and sitting on mountains of moolah, Richie Sambora was as hungry for rock stardom as Jaws was for some silly human flesh. You read it right, Woodbridge, New Jersey’s Richie Sambora or “Sambo” wasn’t always the superstar guitarist of Bon Jovi. Like most rockers destined for greatness, when Richie was through with local sports, he paid his dues playing in several bands. In addition to auditioning for KISS and Poison (who, at the time, was known as Paris), and playing guitar for Joe Cocker, Sambora was part of a band of Jersey guys called Shark Frenzy.
Shark Frenzy’s classic rock sound has been compared to ’70s rock bands like Aerosmith and Meatloaf, but I also hear similarities to several other bands such as Free, and Boston. Their music wasn’t officially released until over 20 years later, when founder of the band and grammy nominee, Bruce Foster, had the previously damaged tapes remastered and put out by Sanctuary Records. There was enough Shark Frenzy material for 2 full albums and the CD’s are available at many online shops (even Walmart!) and possibly the few record stores left. Both volumes are available on iTunes for $9.99 each.
On his official website, Bruce Foster reveals more about how he salvaged the music to finally get it released: “This album features Richie’s first time playing and singing in a recording studio. The master tapes of these priceless recordings were erased by the recording studio. I had the mixes on tape which went under 2 feet of salt water and river silt in the flood. Now, over 20 years later, through months of careful restoration, these recordings equal and in some cases exceed their original sonic spectrum.”